Gap earnings flat in second quarter

Gap Inc. reported flat earnings in the second quarter on lower revenue as the iconic casual-clothing retailer struggled with a weak economy and cautious consumers at its Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic stores.

In the three months ending Aug. 1, the San Francisco-based company reported it earned $228 million, or 33 cents a share, compared to $229 million, or 32 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Per-share earnings topped analyst estimates of 32 cents a share by a penny, according to data compiled by
Sales fell seven percent to $3.25 billion compared to $3.5 billion last year. Gap said same-store sales, a measure of sales performance at stores open at least a year, fell eight percent overall. Sales at namesake Gap stores fell 10 percent, while sales at Banana Republic and Old Navy stores fell 15 percent and four percent, respectively.

Online sales, including the company's Athleta active-wear brand, rose 17 percent to $224 million, Gap said.

Gap opened 12 stores and closed 16 during the quarter, it said, compared to 22 openings and 29 closings for the second quarter last year.

The company, founded in 1969 as a jeans retailer, will ring the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange on Friday remotely from its California headquarters, it said. In addition, NYSE floor traders will wear jeans to work to honor the company's 40th anniversary, a first in stock exchange history, Gap said.
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